Day of Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner: How To Choose?

Day of Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner: How To Choose?

Months of work go into planning a wedding, often creating stress for the couple. Luckily, there are professionals you can hire to help take away those struggles and give you your dream day. Read through this guide to determine whether to choose a day-of coordinator or wedding planner to help with this celebration.

Day of Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner: How To Choose?

Reasons To Choose a Wedding Planner

Many couples hire a wedding planner to help them take care of all the complicated aspects of throwing a wedding. This individual will communicate with your vendors, ensure everything gets done on time, help decorate the space, and more. These experts work to ensure your big day goes as perfectly as you imagine it will.

What Is a Wedding Planner?

A wedding planner is an event planner, but weddings are their area of expertise. They’ll sit down with you to get an idea of what you’ve envisioned for your day, including a budget, decorating, number of guests, etc. Then, they use this information to help narrow down your list of venues and vendors so you have less to juggle and can enjoy the time before your wedding.

Additionally, wedding planners will do all this while keeping your budget in mind, so you don’t have to sacrifice or overspend to get everything you want. This induvial often has references for vendors, stylists, florists, and other professionals within their network, making it easier for you to hire these individuals.  

Think of your wedding planner as a skilled problem solver with extensive wedding knowledge. They’ve helped many couples tie the knot and know what to do and what you want to avoid. Not much beats having someone on your team with connections to the many vendors you’ll need to hire; plus, your planner can handle interviewing anyone outside of their network.

The Job of a Wedding Planner

Wedding planners can do as much or as little as you need them to as they’re like an assistant for your special day. They can help you determine a budget and keep things on track as well as:

  • Think of design ideas
  • Choose wedding attire
  • Communicate with vendors
  • Print invitations
  • Keep timelines in check

Your wedding planner is there for every step of the journey and will help you take care of all the planning that goes into this celebration.

Pros and Cons of Wedding Planners

Planning a wedding is no easy task, and when you work with a planner, you’ll have someone to bounce ideas off as well as an expert who can help take care of things. For instance, scheduling an appointment to talk with your caterer can add stress if you work full time, but a wedding planner can take care of this for you.

Before you jump at this opportunity, there are a few cons to hiring a planner. For starters, this can be expensive and may require initial cuts to your wedding budget. You may have to reevaluate how you’ll distribute costs for the wedding. Another con of hiring a planner is that it requires you to relinquish some of your control. Letting someone else handle the details of your special day isn’t always easy, especially if you’re a type A personality.

What To Look For in a Wedding Planner

If you decide to hire a wedding planner, there are a few qualities to search for in this individual to ensure you have the best co-captain on your team. Great wedding planners are:

  • Creative
  • Money savvy
  • Great communicators
  • Trustworthy

Remember, the wedding planner helps you plan the wedding, so they’ll need to think of ways you can decorate. That means searching for ideas, supplying their own, and listening to your vision. They also know to keep you updated on what’s happening. So if anything changes, you’ll be the first to know.

You also need to feel comfortable with your planner. If you don’t click after the initial interview, they may not be the right fit for you. You’re trusting this person to plan your wedding and should feel at ease knowing they’ll take care of everything you ask them to.

Day of Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner: How To Choose?

Reasons To Choose a Day-of Coordinator

Unlike a wedding planner, a day-of coordinator is there to help ensure the day of the wedding goes smoothly. They’ll help handle those last-minute details so you don’t have to feel stressed as you get ready. Instead, you can spend your morning having fun with your bridesmaids as you get your hair and makeup done.

Sometimes, these individuals are also there for the rehearsal dinner to ensure everyone in the wedding party knows what to do. This also allows the coordinator to verify which decorations will go where to create the perfect space. Now is the time to clarify any last-minute details or minor changes.

What Is a Day-of Coordinator?

Unlike a wedding planner, a day-of coordinator doesn’t help with all the initial planning and those creative aspects; instead, they organize details on the big day. Your day-of coordinator will begin working with you one to two months before the wedding and help coordinate the details on seating, décor, and more. The day-of coordinator does not assist you in creating or sticking to your budget, finding and hiring vendors, or thinking of how you’ll organize the venue.

What Will a Day-of Coordinator Do?

So what exactly does a day-of coordinator do? They check in with vendors several weeks before the wedding and handle all arrangements on the day of your wedding. They also clarify details with you, including your seating chart in the weeks leading up to the wedding. Other responsibilities include:

  • Establishing the timeline
  • Handling sudden issues
  • Knowing logistics
  • Gathering everyone for photos

In other words, the day-of coordinator ensures there’s a chair for everyone, mealtime runs smoothly, and no mishaps arise. They’ll make sure the groom has all his essentials and that the bride looks picture-perfect. If something does come up, they take care of it so the couple and their families can enjoy the festivities.

Pros and Cons of a Day-of Coordinator

Many hire a day-of coordinator because it relieves a big layer of stress for the couple and their family members. Often when you don’t hire one of these professionals, your parents or wedding party are responsible for ensuring your day is perfect. And when they need to do that, they can’t fully enjoy the celebration. Why risk feeling stressed out on your wedding day when you can have an industry expert coordinate each detail to fit into your vision?

Some of the cons of hiring a day-of coordinator are that this is an additional cost, and if you have a tight budget, you may not be able to afford it. In this instance, try reaching out to friends and relatives to see if anyone has recommendations that would work for you.

Qualities To Look For in a Day-of Coordinator

The perfect day-of coordinators are detail-oriented individuals with great communication skills. They also:

  • Have great time-management skills
  • Know how to manage others
  • Can think on the fly

They’ll catch things before they go awry and make a correction before you or the guests notice. These coordinators also communicate the plan to everyone involved with your wedding, so no detail is left ambiguous. They’ll do everything, including lining up the wedding party to enter the ceremony space and keeping your family ready for photos.

Day of Coordinator vs. Wedding Planner: How To Choose?

Which Is the Best Option?

Like any wedding-centric detail, the best option is a matter of opinion. Hiring a wedding planner may be best if you have a tight schedule and don’t want things to appear rushed or thrown together. However, if you’d prefer to do most of the planning and need someone to ensure each detail of your big day goes perfectly, hire a day-of coordinator. Both individuals work to help you achieve the dream wedding.

No matter who you hire, you’ll need to give the induvial a folder or binder with your points of contact as well as what you want for the special day. This helps them make sure it moves according to your vision. Additionally, you’ll have to set up times to meet with your wedding planner and day-of coordinator to discuss details and backup plans in the event that something goes awry.

Tips for Weighing Your Options

Knowing whether to choose a day-of coordinator or wedding planner can be a challenge, so to make things easier, consider the following:

  • Your budget: Wedding planners often cost more
  • The time you have: Planning a wedding can feel like a part-time job
  • Where you need help: Determine if you need help planning or coordinating

Knowing which type of expert you should hire makes it easier for you to bring your vision to life. A day-of coordinator is perfect if you know where you want to get married and how you’ll decorate but need someone to organize things on the big day.

Essentially, the ideal option depends on what you need the most help with, whether that’s planning or coordinating. Hire the individual who will offer the balance you need to enjoy your dream day and the journey leading up to it!

When in Doubt, Hire Both

If you need help with all aspects of the wedding to make it as stress-free as possible, you can hire both of these professionals. However, keep in mind that it can get expensive. When you have both a planner and a coordinator, you’ll have someone by your side to help decide on initial details, venue, and track down vendors. Then, on the day of your wedding, you can have your coordinator take care of the fine details, such as giving the space a once-over, laying out décor, and keeping everything on schedule.

Hire the Right Person

Whether you hire a wedding planner, day-of coordinator, or both, what’s most important is that the person is the right fit. To find the right individual, make sure you ask the right questions when interviewing planners and coordinators.

If you have clashing personalities or leave the initial interview feeling unsure, continue searching for the right wedding professional. The perfect person is someone you can count on to make your dream a reality when you finally say “I do” at the altar.

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Everyday Bride

Freelance Writer
August 8, 2022

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